Business of Dáil

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in the order of the Dáil today, that Second Stage of the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) (Amendment) Bill 2016 shall not be taken tomorrow.

Will questions to the Minister proceed?

May I comment on that? There is no way that this Bill will be passed tomorrow because the Minister made a huge mistake of putting a whole load of planning measures in with rental measures. We will be here until 3 a.m. on Saturday if we want to give this Bill serious consideration. He should not have done that. There should have been two separate Bills.

We can only deal with what we have now. Is that agreed?

The Minister should take the rental aspect out of the Bill.

Can I suggest that we need to have the maximum possible time? I do not know if the Minister will have time between now and whatever time we start tomorrow to have a debate with his officials but the sooner we begin the debate in the morning, the better. If not 10 a.m., can we agree to sit at 11 a.m to give us time to make as much progress on the Bill as possible?

We would have to agree to drop the Topical Issue debate.

Let that happen. If there is a consensus that because there is a fear that landlords might avail of a vacuum and that we need to have this done before the Dáil rises, then we need to use every available minute we have. Can we agree to put other business aside to do this tomorrow?

Before I call the Chief Whip, tomorrow morning we will meet at 10 o'clock. From 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. we will have questions to the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality.

We can drop those.

From 11.30 a.m. to 12.18 p.m. we will have the Topical Issue debate.

We can drop that too.

Why are they more important?

It is not that they are more important than what we are discussing now. It was agreed at the Business Committee that we would keep parliamentary questions to the Tánaiste and the Topical Issue debate. Members are within their rights to change the Order of Business now. If they want to propose that we drop the questions to the Tánaiste and postpone Topical Issues they can do that-----

Can we explore that?

-----but only with the support of the House, and we did not have that support at the Business Committee.

Is that a proposal?

Can I comment briefly on that?

The problem, and I am sympathetic of the proposal, is that it is a little unfair to the people who may not be here who have tabled either a Topical Issue or questions to the Minister because neither of those will be taken before the Christmas break.

This is really urgent.

On this, because we are out of time.

As someone who has tabled a Topical Issue matter for tomorrow, I believe we should consider this legislation in a more comprehensive way. We cannot squeeze it in tomorrow morning. We need more time.

I also want to ask about the Members who are on the list. Is that the rotation we will follow from here?

My proposal is that when we go back to Report Stage whoever is in the Chair will have this list and will be starting with Deputy Pat Casey. We have completed the list down to Deputy Bríd Smith. We have to decide now.

Will we be taking Committee Stage first?

We will be completing the recommittal. We are still in recommittal. There is a proposal-----

I have a Topical Issue tomorrow and in the interests of the House, I have no problem having it postponed.

There are two with Topical Issues.

Has the Chief Whip an amendment?

I have a Topical Issue and I think we are willing to agree as well.

So there is-----

(Interruptions).

That is quite helpful.

(Interruptions).

Hold on, Deputies. It has now been suggested that Topical Issues be withdrawn.

It is a matter for the Chief Whip to make a proposal and put it to the House. Is it also being suggested that there should be no questions to the Minister tomorrow?

(Interruptions).

I have a question down.

Hold on, Deputy Coppinger. I call the Chief Whip.

I was only going to say I am at the mercy of the House. If the House wants to postpone the Minister's questions to the first day that we come back and everything else then just gets moved back a day, that is game ball by me.

Is the proposal-----

(Interruptions).

No, one second. I am trying to interpret what everyone is saying.

I propose that we leave the questions to the Minister for Justice and Equality. They will be done by 11.30 a.m., we will let the Topical Issues fall and they can be taken on 17 January. We will start the legislation at that stage.

Is that a compromise? Is that agreed? Agreed.